Via Twitter, quarterback Tate Forcier announces he is not returning to Michigan
AnnArbor.com file photo
The tweets started, cryptically, at 11:48 p.m. on Wednesday night. Thirty-one minutes and 20 tweets later, they ended with this: “Tate Forcier #5 — A Michigan Man Forever — Go Blue.”
By the end, the message was clear: Forcier will not be returning for his junior season.
It appears to be a bizarre, late-night end to what has been a star-crossed career for the now-former Michigan quarterback.
Forcier did not immediately return a text message seeking confirmation he sent the messages from the family Twitter account, @QBForce, that he shares with brothers Jason and Chris, but Tom VanHaaren of MGoBlog.com tweeted that Forcier had texted him confirmation.
An e-mail and text message sent to Forcier’s father, Mike, was also not immediately returned.
The core message in the extended series (shown at right and reprinted in its entirety below) was this:
“I am proud to have been part of Michigan Football history and will always cherish the memory. The last few weeks I worked extremely hard to catch back up. I really wanted to stay. I was not giving up on Michigan, but in the end, it was made clear they had given up on me.
“With that being said, it’s time for me to go. I promise the Michigan family and fans I will make you proud again.”
It was apparently the last chapter in what had been a rocky Michigan career for Forcier.
Highly touted out of Scripps Ranch High in San Diego, Forcier beat out junior Nick Sheridan and fellow freshman Denard Robinson for the starting quarterback job as a true freshman. He led Michigan to four wins in his first four starts, including a last-minute drive with a touchdown pass to beat Notre Dame, 38-34 in his second start.
It turned out to be his high point at Michigan.
He started every game that freshman season, playing the final eight games of the year with myriad injuries, completing 165 of 281 passes for 2,050 yards, 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
In the offseason, though, he was criticized by former Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez for his work habits and before the season started was called out by senior cornerback Troy Woolfolk at Big Ten media day in Chicago.
During fall camp this year, Rodriguez punished Forcier by stripping the wings from his helmet for part of the preseason and then Robinson passed Forcier on the depth chart.
After Forcier didn’t play in the season-opener against Connecticut — a game both Robinson and true freshman Devin Gardner saw snaps in —he told AnnArbor.com “All you need to know is I’m out.”
He told reporters in December that he wanted to transfer at that point, but stuck out the season, eventually leading Michigan as a backup to a 67-65 come-from-behind win over Illinois and played well in reserve duty against Iowa.
Forcier appeared to have straightened things out, but then was sent home from the Gator Bowl when he was deemed ineligible days before Michigan lost to Mississippi State, 52-14, in Rodriguez’s final game.
Last week, when Brady Hoke was announced as Michigan’s new coach, it was also confirmed that Forcier, at the time, was not part of the Wolverines’ program.
The Twitter blast did not indicate where Forcier might play next.
The complete text of the Twitter feed from QBForce:
Immediate Press/Sports Release: January 20, 2011 - Robert “Tate” Forcier University of Michigan Sophomore Quarterback
Why do we all wait until we are at our lowest point to seek God’s help? I’ve been kicked, pushed, knocked down, publicly berated, belittled, emasculated and more. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to give up or feel the victim. The humility of it all is indescribable and that is exactly my point.
I had to reach rock bottom in order to see the light, and for that, I am thankful. It was not until then, I realized that it was my lack of accountability and maturity and not to pass blame.
I do hope all my young fans forgive me and benefit from my lessons that I have learned. Be grateful for what you have and be humble for your successes. Don’t wait to ask God into your life as he will help you see things clearer.
In summary, I believe, I will become a better student and a person of stronger character from these experiences at Michigan. I can proudly state, “I worked hard on the practice field, in the film room and at meetings” after all, football is my passion. I had fun celebrating with the fans. I even competed hard while injured as a true freshman through the last (8) games in 2009, but I always played the game giving it my all. I am proud to have been part of the Michigan Football history and will always cherish the memory.
The last few weeks I worked extremely hard to catch back up. I really wanted to stay. I was not giving up on Michigan, but in the end, it was made clear that they had given up on me. That being said, it was time for me to go.
I promise the Michigan family and fans I will make you proud again.
Tate Forcier #5 - A Michigan Man Forever - Go Blue